I discovered Marita Setas Ferro’s fashion brand, Marita Moreno, at the most recent edition of Greenshowroom in Berlin, a biannual fashion trade fair focused on sustainable and ethical fashion, beauty and lifestyle products. Marita Moreno is a Porto-based Portuguese footwear and accessories label that takes “Made in Portugal” to the next level, as all the products use local or national materials, often incorporating artisanal materials and always employing certified craftspeople. I fell in love with the Davis wooden handbag for Autumn/Winter 2018-2019, which is stained black with a lovely grey and cream pattern, and is light, thin, and flexible. The purse—which can be carried as a clutch or slung over the shoulder with the detachable chain—is made from compact wood and completely handmade by certified crafters from a family business.
Marita sat down with me to share more about her brand that celebrates Portuguese culture and heritage in every aspect. The brand is also linked to her family heritage. “My great grandfather was Moreno and he was a writer and [also] wrote dictionaries for the Portuguese language. It’s a kind of homage to him and to my mother, because she’s also a Moreno.” It’s a very fitting homage as there is a strong visual cultural language running through all of the brand’s products, as evidenced with the women’s shoes from the Azores line, which feature handmade fabric. The fabric, a traditional textile from the Azores often used in bedspreads, is hand woven in wool and cotton by the certified weaver Eduarda Vieira, of Terceira Island. Portuguese craft and craftsmanship is the thread that connects every Marita Moreno piece. Everyday textiles and crafts are reimagined and applied in a forward-thinking, contemporary fashion to create unique and modern shoes and accessories that still retain clear aesthetic links to Portugal’s strong and diverse cultural heritage.